BRIDES OF EDEN by Linda Crew


A True Story Imagined
Age Range: 14 & up
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At the turn of the 20th century, 16-year-old Eva Mae Hurt and her family were proud members of the Salvation Army in their peaceful town of Corvallis, Oregon. But in 1903, Franz Edmund Creffield came onto the scene and split the Salvation Army into two factions. In this “true story imagined,” Eva tells how Creffield manipulated one of the sects, which included Eva and much of her family, and turned it into a cult. At first her attraction to Creffield stems from his charisma and physical beauty. Soon, however, Creffield proclaims himself to be the prophet Joshua and changes the group’s name to the Bride of Christ Church. With the fear of losing her family, a longing to be important in some way, and Joshua’s persuasiveness, Eva remains a loyal “bride” when Joshua proclaims that one of the followers will be the mother of Christ for the second coming and the end of the world. Secretly questioning Joshua’s rules that forbid marriage, promote starvation, and allow her to be raped, Eva seems like the only rational member of the cult until she, too, joins the hysteria. This well-researched story has a very satisfying plot from an interesting voice and will have readers rushing to learn the bizarre outcome. When done, readers will want to know more about how one man could lead a group into submission and ruin. A fascinating look at the dynamics of cults. (photographs) (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028750-0
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2000


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